Scotland seems to have an obsession with frozen food. There are two grocery chains that soley (I don't think "sole" with a "y" on the end is actually a word, but don't tell anyone, okay?) stock frozen food. Being that Ian and I are both fresh food people, we never have quite gotten this...though on a side note, I must say that I am making dishes and freezing them for after the baby is born. This way, Ian just has to heat them up and make a salad and *bam* we have a home cooked meal! So far, I've gotten two made from scratch lasagnas (I am so proud of my doing this!) and a ginormious container of beef stew (perfect for those stormy days). But, back to my point...
So, I'm watching TV the other day and a commercial comes on for one of these "frozen food specialists". In it, they are advertising a hot dog pizza. Yes, you read correctly. That is a pizza with hot dog on it!?! Now, I like pizza and I LOVE hot dogs, but the idea of combining the two is about enough to make me "bring up" (or vomit) the nice warm cookies and milk I ate as a snack tonight. Honestly, who eats this type of stuff? It sounds SO WRONG to me, I can hardly stand it. Oh, man.
I think I am going to stick with my weekly menus and trying to make all my dinners from scratch. Hopefully this will avoid some nasty food pitfalls...like hot dog pizza!
I know I just posed about weather, and I promise to try to not make it a theme, but I just have to get this out...
With the days getting shorter (not literally, just less sun) and the thought of four hours of daylight being just around the corner, I begin to think about hibernation. The whole time I have lived here, I haven't quite understood the misery of winter. I am not the type of person that is content being cooped up in a house all winter.
Enter a local magazine I am flipping through this weekend...it did a poll on what people do to pass the "long nights" of winter. Every single stinking response had the following words in it:
cozy up DVD (be it movie or TV series) fire wine
I was officially depressed (not really)! If the great people of Scotland literally just sit in their homes all winter, what hope does that give me for doing absolutely anything?!? I wasn't raised to hibernate. I was raised in a place (Arizona) where the "winter" was blink and you missed it. I remember going off to school in the winter in a long sleeved shirt and shorts. Then, the last place I lived (Southern California), wasn't much different. If it falls below 70, everyone starts bundling up and complaining how cold it is. I was not raised for this.
That is where YOU come in...come on people, I need your best ideas here. What's a girl to do to make it through another four months of miserable weather and four hours of daylight? And hibernation isn't an option here!
Nasty Fall weather seems to have set in and I am less than thrilled. The crazy wind and pouring rain makes it almost impossible for me to leave my house.
Fall seemed to start out with some beautiful weather. Yeah, the air was crisp and cold, but the sun was shining and the falling leaves looked beautiful. That was until the rain set in. The rain seems to have turned the beautiful leaves into a mushy mess at every turn. And those beautiful leaves now mask hidden puddles for me to soak myself in! They also pose as a "slipping hazard" for an already clumsy person. Put this together with my center of gravity being thrown off, and it isn't a good combination! Its been raining so hard the last few days that our poor blueberry plant has become waterlogged under a few inches of water. Thankfully, Ian came to its rescue today, trying his hand at using a cup to remove the water...we love our little blueberry plant and want it to make it through the winter! Hopefully (though I am not holding my breath), the fall and winter will prove to have some beautiful weather for me and not just icky stuff that keeps a largely pregnant woman (soon to be protective, germ-a-phobe mother) from being housebound until spring!
I got a visit from the health visitor today...basically this is a person that checks up on you and the baby, makes sure you aren't psycho, are a good enough parent, things like that. I was freaking out last night about the visit. Ian thought the whole thing was funny...of course he would. He got to escape off to work. Well, the lady was nice and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Just a bunch of questions, wanting to know my plans for after the baby is born, support systems, things like that. The funny thing was the lady was glad to hear my mom was coming after the baby was born, but was concerned about Ian's whole family coming for Christmas. She stressed that I need to be focused on the baby and not on playing hostess. So there you have it Grimbleby's...no hostess playing from Jessica!
This afternoon I had a midwife appointment. Except for the fact that it is horrible weather and I was completely drenched by the time I got to the doctor's office, the appointment went well. Baby's head is still down, though not engaged...I was disappointed about this one, given that I do want this little thing to come early! (Yeah, I did just call my baby a "thing".) Also, once again I have blood in my urine (can anyone say another UTI is coming my way?), so my urine has once again been sent off to a lab. Not too concerned given that this has now happened about a million times while I have been pregnant and given that the worst that can happen is it make you go into labor, which I would be happy about.
Today the post man showed up at my door with yet another present. And it came just in time, given that the Royal Mail is going on strike beginning tomorrow. It was from my wonderful Aunt Willa & Uncle TT. The best present in the package was a little onesie that said, "All I want for Christmas is my Auntie". It made my heart melt. That is SO TRUE. Once this little person meets its Aunt Willa, it won't want anyone else...and I know the feeling! Two days ago, baby got a present in the mail from my friend Danielle. It got a bottle drying rack, some bottles and its first real toy...it makes noises and everything!
Baby is surely feeling the love...now if only baby will decide to come out and feel the love from the real world and not just inside my belly!
Oh, and about the picture...I realize my legs are starting to look extremely minute in comparison to my ever growing belly. This actually makes me feel good given that I normally feel like I have ginormous legs. I also realize that wearing khakis makes me look like a Target worker. I don't know how to keep this from happening. And given that I have like three pairs of maternity pants, I have to rock the "Target look" every once in a while!
Anyone who has ever been engaged, gotten married, bought a house, had a baby...will know what I am talking about. There seems to be a syndrome with people. Whenever anything really great is going on in your life, they feel they need to come along and suck the life out of you. They constantly give their opinion (no matter HOW MUCH you resist), tell you horror stories and in general try to steal away your joy. Then, when you call them on it, they bat their eyes at you and say something along the lines of,
"I was just trying to be helpful."
"I was just trying to help you be prepared."
"Even though it happened to Susie's half-sister's, neighbor's, best friend, doesn't mean it will happen to you."
Well, I have something to say to all you joy squashes out there...
SHUT THE @#!* UP!
Believe it or not, I don't want to hear your horror stories of your child almost dieing at birth, of ruptured uteri and more. Yes, I want some of you to be real with me (and you know who you are), but why does every single stinking person in the world feel the need to share their horror stories with me?!? I don't freaking get it and I don't freaking like it. Thankfully I have a sane mother that is totally my cheerleader and not a joy squasher. Thankfully I also have some good friends that are the same way. Otherwise, I think I might go insane!
Oh, and you joy squashes out there, you totally DON'T get that you do this...that is the BEST part. You are so simple minded and conceded that you would never realize that life isn't all about you and maybe, just maybe, you should keep your comments to yourself!
I never thought I would be a person to do my grocery shopping online. I tried it once like two years ago and it just frustrated me. Every time you looked for one item, you were given about a zillion choices and it was just so hard compared to going in the store. Well, then I moved to Aberdeen. The bus service isn't the best and we don't have a car. And, being 9 months pregnant, I don't get my jollies out of dragging groceries a mile home!
Enter a commercial that changed my outlook on online grocery shopping (and my life!). It said that it saved your "favorites" from the store, online for ease of shopping. This favorites list has seriously changed my life. Once a week, I sit down and make a list of the dinners we will be eating for the week (oh, this only started after I went on maternity leave**) log on and throw all the ingredients into my basket, pick a delivery time and viola, my groceries arrive. Its ingenious and has changed my life! It may not be the cheapest way to shop (unless you account for the fact that I am never enticed by impulse items or sweets) but given my current situation, it certainly is the easiest. And lets face it, I NEVER have to think about unloading the car in the rain!
**No joke people, given that I am at home all day, I have decided to be a "good house wife" and make dinner every night! This includes planning out the meals each week. I am such a changed person, many of you wouldn't even recognize me!
Today I had the first, of what I may think will be many, run in with my neighbor. Our cable provider came out today to install a dish on the roof. They had come out a month ago and said it had to be on the roof as we are in a conservation area. Because of this, they had to send out a crew with a larger ladder to get up the four stories to install the dish behind the chimney. Well, as soon as they got out of their truck (no exaggeration), my neighbor was outside yelling at them saying they couldn't touch the building without her permission. Its not like we were doing this without asking permission...we got the permission from the property management company to do it. Anyway, they said they were at least going to go on the roof and take a look around. As they are setting up their ladder, my neighbor opens her window and starts yelling at them again. Being that I was standing in my doorway at this point (I knew she was going to go crazy on them), I went and talked to her and told her what they were doing. She seemed to settle down and be ok with them taking a look around. Or so I thought. The guys got on the roof, discovered the closest dish was two houses away (which was too far for us to piggyback off of) and came down. Just as they were packing up their ladder, the neighbor once again comes running out of their house demanding to know what they did on the roof without her permission. Once again, I tried to act as a buffer. She also said they were being illegal by going up there (how exactly, I don't know) and that she had already called the city council over the whole thing. WHAT?!? Called the freaking city council!?! Do you not have a life at all? Anyway, the guys got in their truck and left. I went back into the house and called Ian. In the mean time, Ian had recalled the property management company, who retold him there isn't a problem with installing a dish on the roof and who also told him the owner tried installing a dish at one point but ran into a problem. I am going to take a wild guess and say that "problem" is the woman who lives right above me! Not only am I afraid of her, but I have a feeling she will make my life a nightmare when I have a screaming baby in the middle of the night...maybe at this point I should tell you she previously complained about the lady who lives on the top floor taking showers at 6am because that is way too early to be getting ready for work! Let the fun times begin...
Baby classes are an interesting thing. Obviously I never took them in the states, so I am not sure how they are there. But, I did expect something along the lines of what I see on the tv and in movies...sitting down on the floor, in between your husband's legs, panting away. So far, these classes have been nothing close to this.
First, I must admit, these classes really give me time to judge my bump size to others. Given that I am the farthest along (hey, I moved and had to start the classes late!) I should be the biggest, right? Well, that doesn't seem to be the truth. Ian is starting to say that I need to eat some more tea and biscuits (yeah, I guess we have adapted to the culture a little!) but I think he is really saying that just because the midwife said the baby is on the small side...not an unhealthy size, just small. I am not going to lie, I have been praying for the baby to be on the smaller size the whole time. Do you really think I want to push out a record size baby?!? NO! But, back to bumps. I have also discovered that bumps come in all shapes and sizes. Some women just look fat (so glad that isn't me) and some women look like they are about to pop when they are like 5 months along. I, on the other hand, keep being told that I don't look 9 months pregnant. But, I am not too worried, given that I am measuring just right. Me and babes just eat less than others!
Back to baby class. It has also made me realize how uneducated people are. Honestly, I haven't scowered over a million books. I have flipped thru one, read one about labor and delivery and read one about the baby's first year. By no means would I consider myself an expert. But, when I am sitting in the class and people don't seem to know rather simple questions, I realize that maybe I do know more than I think. Go me!
Last night we learned all about coping with labor at home. Over here, you don't go into the hospital until you are at least 6 centimeters dilated. Really, they don't even want you there until it is time to push! No kidding! They told us when we are in the early stages of labor, we should clean and organize our house so everything is ready when we get home. Nice! Cleaning is just what I want to be doing when I am leaking amniotic fluid all over the floor and crying out in pain every 10 minutes...yeah, they said they don't count contractions more than 10 minutes apart as "labor".
We did get to see a tens machine in action last night...I don't think you have those over in the states. Basically, it is pads you hook up to your back that send electrical pulses to your brain to help release the endorphins and make you not think about the pain. You just rent them from a local pharmacy. Haven't decided yet if I will get one or not...it probably depends on if baby is going to turn around on Monday or not (on a side note, I went to the dr. on Wednesday and baby is still breech, though they did say the baby is "happy and healthy" in that position). They hooked the machine up to one of the guys and it was seriously funny to see him squirm from the pulses. But, then he kept saying that it didn't hurt, so who knows what it really feels like.
Up next week...a tour of the labor and delivery ward and learning all about how to push that baby out! I can't wait!
Me and baby have a cold. Since we are living "medicine free", we had a not-so-good night last night. I used practically all the kleenex in the house and spent an hour and a half up in the middle of the night drinking orange juice and blowing my nose. Because of this, the "two" of us were sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves this morning when the doorbell rang. I didn't even know we had a doorbell?!? I went to the door, only to discover that me and baby had a nice big, and heavy, box of presents from my family. It really helped jump start our day...got us all excited and we spent some time setting up baby's room some more.
Here's a picture of all the loot: Uncle Jeremy included a special something for the baby...which he swears is NOT a halloween costume! Either way, I can't resist the heart behind the skeleton.
Shopping for a church has to be one of the hardest, and most uncomfortable, things out there! I was raised in the church, yet going into new ones just seems so difficult and awkward to me. Its like going to an exclusive club and you don't know anyone...or like going to a new high school and trying to make friends!
Since we just moved, Ian and I thought it would be good to find a church before the baby is born. So, we have visited a different church each week to see what we like best. Obviously, we realize no church is perfect, but we want to find one we actually fit in at. So far, we have just visited churches that people recommended to us...a Church of Scotland (WAY old school), an Assembly's of God (pretty standard) and an independent church (probably the one we seemed to fit in the most at). The first thing I have noticed about church shopping is that churches have horrible websites. They seem to set up their websites for people who currently are going to their churches...and honestly, how often do you visit your church's website? The one thing that stands out, for all the churches, the address and a map showing where the church is located seemed to be deeply hidden in an odd place on the website. This is crucial information for new people and needs to be front and center! The second thing I noticed is that all the churches said they are "friendly" and you will be greeted by someone that recognizes you are new. At the second church we attended (AG), not one single person even said hi to us...talk about awkward! The first one (Church of Scotland), two guys did after church, thinking we were new students. Today, at the independent church, people were totally friendly. A lady came and chatted with us for a while, whom we later found out was the pastor's wife. Then, during the "greet" time in the service (which might I say really is an awful time for new people...and isn't it supposed to be for new people?!?) we talked to a really nice couple sitting in front of us. After service, we ran into a guy Ian works with and ended up talking to another guy (like our parents age), who was so friendly and seemed to genuinely take interest and care about us. It felt good. Isn't that the way you should feel at church?
An increasingly popular trend at churches is churches writing their own songs. I am not totally bashing this, as both the church in Pasadena and the church in Edinburgh that Ian and I attended wrote their own songs. But, it does make you feel like a fish out of water when you are church shopping! At least throw us new people a bone and sing one mainstream song!
Now, I know this next comment is getting a tad bit nitpickey, but hey, we are church shopping here, so I can be if I want to be! Both this Sunday and last Sunday, the churches served communion. This got Ian and I talking about our "favorite" ways of recieving communion. Both of us said we liked it when churches passed out the communion, then the pastor prayed and everyone took the communion together. These days, it seems to be everyone taking the communion as soon as they get it (either it being passed around or you serve yourself) and this is in the middle of worship. This doesn't really allow for any prayer or reflection time and honestly I don't like that. Isn't that what communion is all about?!? Well, that and the fabulous crackers!
Really, I say all this to let you all know that church shopping totally SUCKS! It's uncomfortable, not fun and makes me feel like a total outsider in a place that should feel like home...right? Maybe someday I will feel like I fit in at church, but in the mean time, we will pick a church that seems the best for us and go from there...
Well, it is starting to get exciting! The baby will be here in a month...so crazy! Yesterday at my "booking" appointment at my new medical practice in Aberdeen (the booking appointment is your first appointment when you are pregnant) it was discovered that the baby is breech. So, they sent me over today for a scan to confirm this. As soon as the lady put the probe to my belly, it was obvious the baby is breech. The head is right up there on top with the feet at the top of the head, and the butt is nicely nestled in my pelvis bone. The problem is, this is the worst breech position for a baby to turn from. But still, an ECV (external cephalic version) has been scheduled for in a week and a half. Over here, they do this procedure non-medicated. If it becomes too painful for me, or the baby (which will be monitored the whole time) gets stressed out, they will stop. Their biggest challenge will be to push that little butt out of my pelvis! Anyway, if the ECV doesn't work, a c-section will be scheduled for a week before my due date...which would be the last week of October. OCTOBER?!? That is the month we are currently in! Kind of freaks me out! The ironic thing is, after wanting a c-section for like forever, I will kind of be sad if that is the route we will take. It isn't the end of the world, but I have been doing my exercises and getting all prepared for a (hopefully) medication free birth. Oh well.
I have been trying to prepare for baby's arrival...started packing for the hospital and made a list of all the essential stuff left to get before baby arrives. So, hopefully I will actually get my butt into gear and have everything done (and a name picked out) before baby arrives! Speaking of names, Ian and I are still struggling along on the name front. It is probably because neither one of us talks about it constantly or wants to pick a name from a baby book...so somehow we are supposed to just come up with the perfect name for our child in the next couple weeks. No pressure or anything!
Hello! I'm Jess, lover of Jesus, my hubby, my kids, coffee and taking pictures. I am married to Ian, my high school sweetheart and partner in crime. We are figuring out this parenting thing on a daily basis. Our teachers are Connor (7), Isla (5) and the baby, Callum. Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to stay a while.